Play lifts veil on forbidden love

IN CELEBRATION of Africa Day this weekend, The Little Theatre in the Athenaeum will stage the first full performance of a locally produced theatrical piece that directly addresses xenophobia.

"Veil, is a two hander production that tells the bitter-sweet love story of Ali, a Somalian refugee played by Anele Penny and Nosipho, a South African youngster played by Zinathi Ngcwangu," performance coordinator Xolisa Ngubelanga said.

Theatre followers will remember Penny in Ghost of Glenmore and Sleeping Dogs, while many may also recognise his voice from the daily radio drama, Ithini Na Lento on Umhlobo Wenene FM, in which he plays Mqokoleli. Ngcwangu is a final year student at Stage World Theatre School.

Ngubelanga, who was happy to host this first performance of the full production at the Little Theatre, said: "The show has been previously performed as short pieces of about 30 minutes in different parts of the country. We are the first to host the full 70 minutes."

He said it was necessary for Port Elizabethans to watch this moving performance, as it is aimed at educating and re-introducing African unity.

"It is barely a year since Somali- owned shops were looted," said Ngubelanga,

This story line speaks of the trauma experienced as the result of such violence, content that is often shunned in terms of being spoken about in the city. New Brighton-born Mzwanele 'Zwai' Mgijima, who is a 2012 Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) winning scriptwriter in the New Writing competition and director of this production, said: "I hope people will be able to take something from the performance. It is unfortunate that when people are unhappy, they turn against one another."

The show starts at 4pm on Sunday and tickets are available at R50 for adults, R30 students and R80 for couples.

Find out what implications this unusual love story will have as it unfolds before the eyes of a disapproving community.

Further information and tickets available from Ngubelanga at the Athenaeum or call 073-274-7379. - Balisa Ntloko